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Frontiers in Zoology

A M Dorado-Correa, S A Zollinger, B Heidinger, H Brumm
Background: Noise pollution is one of the leading environmental health risks for humans, linked to a myriad of stress-related health problems. Yet little is known about the long-term effects of noise on the health and fitness of wildlife. We experimentally investigated the direct and cross-generational effects of traffic noise on telomeres; a measure of cellular ageing that is predictive of disease and longevity in humans and other organisms. We exposed zebra finches ( Taenopygia guttata ) to three different treatment groups: 1) parents were exposed to traffic noise before and during breeding, together with their nestling young, 2) fledged juveniles but not their parents were exposed to traffic noise, and 3) control group birds were never exposed to traffic noise...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Julian K A Langowski, Dimitra Dodou, Marleen Kamperman, Johan L van Leeuwen
Tree frogs have the remarkable ability to attach to smooth, rough, dry, and wet surfaces using their versatile toe pads. Tree frog attachment involves the secretion of mucus into the pad-substrate gap, requiring adaptations towards mucus drainage and pad lubrication. Here, we present an overview of tree frog attachment, with focus on (i) the morphology and material of the toe pad; (ii) the functional demands on the toe pad arising from ecology, lifestyle, and phylogenetics; (iii) experimental data of attachment performance such as adhesion and friction forces; and (iv) potential perspectives on future developments in the field...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Bilgenur Baloğlu, Esther Clews, Rudolf Meier
Background: Macroinvertebrates such as non-biting midges (Chironomidae: Diptera) are important components of freshwater ecosystems. However, they are often neglected in biodiversity and conservation research because invertebrate species richness is difficult and expensive to quantify with traditional methods. We here demonstrate that Next Generation Sequencing barcodes ("NGS barcodes") can provide relief because they allow for fast and large-scale species-level sorting of large samples at low cost...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Adam Khalife, Roberto A Keller, Johan Billen, Francisco Hita Garcia, Evan P Economo, Christian Peeters
Background: While thousands of ant species are arboreal, very few are able to chew and tunnel through living wood. Ants of the genus Melissotarsus (subfamily Myrmicinae) inhabit tunnel systems excavated under the bark of living trees, where they keep large numbers of symbiotic armoured scale insects (family Diaspididae). Construction of these tunnels by chewing through healthy wood requires tremendous power, but the adaptations that give Melissotarsus these abilities are unclear. Here, we investigate the morphology of the musculoskeletal system of Melissotarsus using histology, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray spectrometry, X-ray microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), and 3D modelling...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Hendrik Langeloh, Hannah Wasser, Nicole Richter, Gerd Bicker, Michael Stern
Background: The neuromuscular junction is the chemical synapse where motor neurons communicate with skeletal muscle fibers. Whereas vertebrates and many invertebrates use acetylcholine as transmitter at the neuromuscular junction, in those arthropods examined up to now, glutamate and GABA are used instead. With respect to taxon sampling in a phylogenetic context, there is, however, only a limited amount of data available, focusing mainly on crustaceans and hexapods, and neglecting other, arthropod groups...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Franziska Spitzner, Rebecca Meth, Christina Krüger, Emanuel Nischik, Stefan Eiler, Andy Sombke, Gabriela Torres, Steffen Harzsch
Background: The life history stages of brachyuran crustaceans include pelagic larvae of the Zoea type which grow by a series of moults from one instar to the next. Zoeae actively feed and possess a wide range of organ systems necessary for autonomously developing in the plankton. They also display a rich behavioural repertoire that allows for responses to variations in environmental key factors such as light, hydrostatic pressure, tidal currents, and temperature. Brachyuran larvae have served as distinguished models in the field of Ecological Developmental Biology fostering our understanding of diverse ecophysiological aspects such as phenotypic plasticity, carry-over effects on life-history traits, and adaptive mechanisms that enhance tolerance to fluctuations in environmental abiotic factors...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Paul Gonzalez, Jeffrey Z Jiang, Christopher J Lowe
Background: Enteropneusts are benthic marine invertebrates that belong to the deuterostome phylum Hemichordata. The two main clades of enteropneusts are defined by differences in early life history strategies. In the Spengelidae and Ptychoderidae, development is indirect via a planktotrophic tornaria larva. In contrast, development in the Harrimanidae is direct without an intervening larval life history stage. Most molecular studies in the development and evolution of the enteropneust adult body plan have been carried out in the harrimanid Saccoglossus kowalevskii ...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Rafał Martyka, Ewa B Śliwińska, Mirosław Martyka, Mariusz Cichoń, Piotr Tryjanowski
Background: Prenatal antibody transfer is an immune-mediated maternal effect by which females can shape postnatal offspring resistance to pathogens and parasites. Maternal antibodies passed on to offspring provide primary protection to neonates against diverse pathogenic antigens, but they may also affect offspring growth and influence the development of an offspring's own immune response. The effects of maternal antibodies on offspring performance commonly require that the disease environment experienced by a mother prior to breeding matches the environment encountered by her offspring after hatching/birth...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Thomas F Schwaha, Andreas Wanninger
Background: Myoanatomical studies of adult bryozoans employing fluorescent staining and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) have been chiefly conducted on freshwater bryozoans. The diversity of muscular systems in the marine bryozoans is currently not well known with only two species being studied in more detail. The aim of this study is to unravel the diversity of muscle systems of 15 ctenostome bryozoans by phalloidin-coupled fluorescence stainings combined with CLSM. Results: In general, the myoanatomy of the selected ctenostomes shows significant similarities and consists of 1) muscles associated with the body wall, 2) apertural muscles, 3) lophophoral muscles, 4) tentacle sheath muscles, 5) digestive tract muscles and 6) the prominent retractor muscles...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Madeleine Geiger, Marcelo R Sánchez-Villagra
Background: Whether the great morphological disparity of domesticated forms is the result of uniformly higher evolutionary rates compared to the wild populations is debated. We provide new data on changes of skull dimensions within historical time periods in wild and domesticated dogs and pigs to test if domestication might lead to an accelerated tempo of evolution in comparison to the wild conspecifics. Darwins and Haldanes were used to quantify evolutionary rates. Comparisons with evolutionary rates in other species and concerning other characteristics from the literature were conducted...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Jan Buellesbach, Sebastian G Vetter, Thomas Schmitt
Background: Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) have been documented to play crucial roles as species- and sex-specific cues in the chemical communication systems of a wide variety of insects. However, whether they are sufficient by themselves as the sole cue triggering sexual behavior as well as preference of con- over heterospecific mating partners is rarely assessed. We conducted behavioral assays in three representative species of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) to determine their reliance on CHC as species-specific sexual signaling cues...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Elise Marie Jerschabek Laetz, Heike Wägele
Background: Despite widespread interest in solar-powered sea slugs (Sacoglossa: Gastropoda), relatively little is know about how they actually perform functional kleptoplasty. Sister-taxa Elysia timida and E. cornigera provide an ideal model system for investigating this phenomenon, since they feed on the same algal genus and only E. timida is capable of long-term kleptoplasty. Recent research has explored factors regarding functional kleptoplasty in E. timida , including their starvation longevity, digestive activity, autophagal response and photosynthetic efficiency under two different temperature conditions (18 °C and 21 °C)...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Dominik Kusy, Michal Motyka, Carmelo Andujar, Matej Bocek, Michal Masek, Katerina Sklenarova, Filip Kokas, Milada Bocakova, Alfried P Vogler, Ladislav Bocak
Background: Rhinorhipidae Lawrence, 1988 is an enigmatic beetle family represented by a single species, Rhinorhipus tamborinensis Lawrence, 1988, from Australia, with poorly established affinities near the superfamily Elateroidea (click beetles, soldier beetles and fireflies) or the more inclusive series (infraorder) Elateriformia. Its evolutionary position may inform the basal relationships of the suborder Polyphaga, the largest clade of Coleoptera. Results: We analyzed four densely sampled DNA datasets of major coleopteran lineages for mitogenomes, rRNA genes and single copy nuclear genes...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
M Benjamin Barth, Katja Buchwalder, Akito Y Kawahara, Xin Zhou, Shanlin Liu, Nicolas Krezdorn, Björn Rotter, Ralf Horres, Anna K Hundsdoerfer
Background: The European spurge hawkmoth, Hyles euphorbiae (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae), has been intensively studied as a model organism for insect chemical ecology, cold hardiness and evolution of species delineation. To understand species isolation mechanisms at a molecular level, this study aims at determining genetic factors underlying two adaptive ecological trait candidates, phorbol ester (TPA) detoxification and seasonal cold acclimation. Method: A draft transcriptome of H...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Beniamino Tuliozi, Gerardo Fracasso, Herbert Hoi, Matteo Griggio
Background: Exploratory behaviour is one of the best-investigated behavioural traits. However, little is known about how differences in familiarity, i.e. in the knowledge and previous experience with a companion can influence the exploration of a novel environment. However, to our knowledge, such a critical feature of the social environment has never been the target of a study relating it to exploratory behaviour in birds. Here we examined if familiarity with a conspecific could affect behavioural responses of individuals confronted with a novel environment...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Miriam Linnenbrink, Meike Teschke, Inka Montero, Marie Vallier, Diethard Tautz
Background: The MHC class I and II loci mediate the adaptive immune response and belong to the most polymorphic loci in vertebrate genomes. In fact, the number of different alleles in a given species is often so large that it remains a challenge to provide an evolutionary model that can fully account for this. Results: We provide here a general survey of MHC allele numbers in house mouse populations and two sub-species ( M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus ) for H2 class I D and K, as well as class II A and E loci...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Klaus Fischer, Isabell Karl, Ian A N Dublon, Tobias Kehl
We summarise our work on male mating behaviour in the tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana , responding to the commentary provided by Nieberding and Holveck. We acknowledge that our laboratory studies are not free of shortcomings and potential caveats, though we attempted to address or highlight these within each paper. The concerns raised seem to stem mainly from different notions with respect to the proximate basis of old male mating advantage, and specifically the relative importance of male behaviour versus pheromone blend...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Caroline Marie Nieberding, Marie-Jeanne Holveck
Over the last years, several studies suggested that male courtship activity is more important than female preference for male secondary sexual traits in determining male mating success in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana. We use Kehl et al. (Front Zool 12, 2015)'s study and related publications, to highlight three methodological and conceptual aspects of laboratory experiments that distort the social environment compared to natural conditions. We argue that such experimental biases prevent the expression of female mate choice and artificially inflate the role of male activity in determining mating success...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Laura Heck, Laura A B Wilson, Allowen Evin, Madlen Stange, Marcelo R Sánchez-Villagra
Background: In horses, the morphological changes induced by the process of domestication are reportedly less pronounced than in other species, such as dogs or pigs - although the horses' disparity has rarely been empirically tested. We investigated shape differences and modularity of domesticated horses, Przewalski's horses, donkeys and zebras. Mandibular and tooth shape have been shown to be valuable features for differentiating wild and domesticated forms in some mammals. Results: Both mandible and teeth, show a pattern of shape space occupation analogous to that of the cranium, with domesticated horses occupying a similar extension in shape space to that of wild equids...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Susanne Sangenstedt, Carsten Szardenings, Norbert Sachser, Sylvia Kaiser
Background: The social environment that mothers experience during pregnancy and lactation has a strong effect on the developing offspring. Whether offspring can be adaptively shaped to match an environment that is similar to the maternal one is still a major question in research. Our previous work in wild cavies showed that females whose mothers lived in a stable social environment with few social challenges during pregnancy and lactation (SE-daughters) developed different behavioral phenotypes than females whose mothers lived in an unstable social environment with frequent social challenges during pregnancy and lactation (UE-daughters)...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
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